Equipped with a dream and a talent in the kitchen to satisfy any sweet tooth, 21-year-old Karli Roozeboom of rural Kellogg is pursuing her passion with the opening of La Rose Marie Bakery on the south side of the Sully square.
Decorated cakes, cookies, bars, buns, pies, specialty coffee, and more are now available for locals needing a sweet treat fix, without having to make the drive to a larger town. The young entrepreneur behind Sully’s newest business is putting her creativity to work in the kitchen, a talent relatives claim she has been doing since she was 10 years old.
After graduating from Lynnville-Sully in 2014, Karli, the daughter of John and Julie Roozeboom, pursued fashion design at the University of Northern Iowa. After one semester, she transferred to DMACC and embarked on two years of education that would allow her to follow her heart and tap into her creative side – baking and decorating.
After graduating college, Karli honed her skills and expanded her recipe collection while working at a West Des Moines bakery. "I advanced my knowledge tremendously in the cake decorating area from this job," said Karli. When that business closed in 2016, she searched for a job in the bakery industry but didn't enjoy the daily Des Moines commute. She took on more baking and decorating jobs from her home, and when orders came in at a steady pace, the dream to open her own bakery seemed within reach.
Opening a full bakery wasn't on Karli's radar so soon after receiving her associate’s degree in culinary arts, but the opportunity presented itself and she jumped at the chance. In February of this year when she first toured the business space on the south side of the Sully square that once housed the Brand Hardware Store, now owned by Craig Maasdam, Karli was hooked. She envisioned transforming the space into a coffee shop and bakery and fell in love with the rustic charm of the space. Following was several months of planning, meeting with architects, renovation, and ordering equipment. Fulfilling the many stringent requirements set by the state health department was another hurdle Karli was happy to comply with and clear. Maasdam and Karli's father were instrumental in transforming the space, which now features a full, open kitchen and plenty of retail space to display delicious baked goods. The rustic charm was retained and highlighted by painting the ceiling and installing a hardwood floor. Customers currently have to enter the bakery through the back door, but work is underway to finish the front 20 feet that will feature one door and a glass front like the original floorplan, making an inviting entrance into a business that promises to satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. When renovations are complete, there will be an additional 400 square feet of space for the bakery until a compatible business can be found to share the building.
La Rose Marie Bakery officially opened its doors at 620 4th Street with a grand opening that drew over 250 guests on Saturday, Aug. 12.
Customers started arriving at 8 a.m., and the line was steady and eventually out the door and curving around the inside by 9:30 a.m. “Things finally slowed down at 1 till closing at 2,” Karli said with a smile. Cakes, cookies, and cupcakes – as beautiful as they are delicious – lined the retail space of the newly renovated building, along with quick breads, buns, truffles, pies, and more. Karli notes she sold out of everything, which included over 1,000 delicious baked goods.
“It was way more than I expected. I ran out of everything,” said the new business owner. “Everything” included over 50 cinnamon rolls which were gone by 10 a.m., 192 cake balls, 133 cupcakes, 167 coffees, 112 cookies, and more. With all the baking Karli did the week before the grand opening, at least one of her grandpas who said, “I thought she made a six-month supply,” was proven wrong!
La Rose Marie Bakery’s menu will include decorated cakes, cookies, and cupcakes, a variety of breads and buns, cake balls, truffles, pretzel sticks, bars, pies, and more. Specialty coffee will also be available for those needing a delicious caffeinated fix. Dining space is available both inside and outside the bakery for guests to enjoy the tasty treats. In addition to the retail goodies available for sale every business day, Karli takes custom orders for weddings, graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, and more. Whatever occasion people need a treat for, Karli is ready and capable to fulfill. "Nothing is too big or small," said Karli.
Everything on the menu and available for sale is sure to tempt the tastebuds, but Karli recommends trying her favorites which include almond cake, cookies-and- cream cake, or any of the breads. "I definitely have a lot of things I love to bake," said Karli. "I think my all-time favorite is wedding cakes. I love to be part of someone's special day and see how happy they are when they see their wedding cake and cut into it."
Karli’s personal touches are everywhere within the bakery, including the name. “I wanted a unique name that no one else had – La means ‘the,’ Rose sounds like Roozeboom, and Marie is my middle name,” explained Karli.
La Rose Marie Bakery's hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 7-5; Thursday 7-2; Friday 7-4; Saturday 7-12; and closed Sunday and Monday. Karli closes early on Thursdays and utilizes that time to work on custom orders, such as wedding cakes since many custom orders fall on the weekend.
Although Karli is the sole baker and decorater behind the delicious treats, she credits her family, boyfriend Cody Nikkel, and Maasdam and his family in helping her open La Rose Marie Bakery. "I wouldn't have been able to do this without their support," she said. Karli is living her dream – baking for a living in her hometown – and she's ready to make customer’s tastebuds’ dreams come true with one of her many delicious offerings.
La Rose Marie Bakery
Location: 620 4th St., Sully
Hours: Tues.- Wed., 7-5; Thurs., 7-2 ; Fri., 7-4; Sat., 7-noon
Online: Check out larosemariebakery on Facebook.